The Daily Nole

Staff Predictions: FSU at Miami

Ross Obley/FSU athletics

If Florida State head coach Willie Taggart could choose to win just one more game along the way, he’d probably pick this one. The rivalry with the Miami Hurricanes spans more than three decades and includes plenty of heartbreaking moments for FSU. Taggart knows this just as well as anybody else who grew up a fan of the Seminoles.

That being said, it’s looking doubtful for FSU on Saturday. Miami’s strengths line up pretty well with FSU’s weaknesses, but the vice versa is not true. Yet it’s a rivalry game, meaning you never truly know what one side will draw up in a desperate attempt to steal a victory. Can the Seminoles find a winning recipe against Miami? Or will they surrender their first loss down south since 2004?

We here at The Daily Nole have provided a week’s worth of content aimed at giving you all the information necessary for this game. Check out some of our stories below if you haven’t already.

FSU Football: First Look at Miami
Column: FSU Special Teams Finds Itself Repeating History
The Daily Nole — Oct. 2, 2018: FSU to Go Traditional Road Uniforms vs. Miami
Column: Louisville’s Late-Game Interception Was an IOU to FSU
FSU’s Biggest Questions for Miami
Remembering Every FSU Non-Offensive Touchdown vs. Miami

Staff Predictions

Lead writer Clint Eiland: I would feel a lot more confident in FSU’s chances for this game if the defense didn’t have its worst outing of the season last week. The Seminoles were always vulnerable to big plays, but for the most part, they did a good job of containing offenses. Despite the quarterback change, Miami’s offense isn’t all that threatening.

The Hurricanes have an explosive backfield and receivers, but N’Kosi Perry isn’t a superstar by any means. All of it was lining up for the FSU defense to key in on Miami’s strength and force it to try and win with unfamiliar tactics.

Then the safeties and linebackers got picked on by a very unimpressive Louisville offense. Now, it’s a question about how many touchdowns that Miami wide receiver Jeff Thomas will have down the field. That’s an exaggeration but the Seminoles have a lot of uncertainty heading into Saturday. The good news is that defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett said he will simplify some of their tactics. We’ll see if that comes to fruition.

The offense might surprise some people, but not enough to produce enough points for a victory. Miami will surrender big plays and the Seminoles will continue to capitalize on their more impressive offensive weapons. But I don’t see the offensive line holding up a full four quarters. FSU fights hard but the Hurricanes close the deal in the fourth quarter. Miami 30, FSU 17.

Editor Mike Ferguson: In a rivalry game, anything can happen and Florida State did make significant strides on offense in the second half last week against Louisville, but took a significant step back defensively, especially in the secondary. Since getting handled by LSU to start the year, Miami has breezed through the competition, but that competition has hardly been stiff.

The prospect of not having tackle Landon Dickerson could also serve as a huge blow for the Seminoles who will be facing a defense that leads the nation in tackles for loss. Hitting on big plays and winning the turnover battle will be key for FSU, but when all is said and done, Miami is simply a more complete team. Canes 34, Noles 17.

Digital content manager Edwin Collins: My pick is a head scratcher and the game on Saturday will be too. Don’t be a doubter. FSU wins on the road, 42-13.

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